CANADA | New Opportunities – New Global Talent Stream and Atlantic Immigration Program

Slated for a June 12 implementation date, the Global Talent Stream will initially be introduced to the temporary foreign worker program as a 24-month pilot program. This streamlined immigration option will specifically benefit two types of companies: (1) high-growth firms needing unique foreign talent to scale-up and grow, resulting in job creation and knowledge transfer to Canadians, and (2) firms needing highly-skilled foreign talent in occupations on a new “Skills Shortage List.” The benefits to companies eligible for the program will be essentially three-fold:

  • A new dedicated service channel specifically reserved for the program-eligible companies;
  • Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) processed in 10 business days by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), rather than the current timing of up to several months; and
  • Work permits processed in 10 business days by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

IRCC is also reportedly working on a short-term (less than 30 days) work permit exemption which will be available to companies participating the program. While many of the specifics regarding company eligibility criteria and the Skills Shortage List are still being formulated by IRCC and ESDC in consultation with stakeholders throughout Canada, Pro-Link GLOBAL’s KGNM Canada office continues to actively provide authorities with input on process design and monitor progress toward implementation. Pro-Link GLOBAL looks forward to enthusiastically reporting with more details in the coming weeks.

New Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Effective March 6, IRCC has also launched a new three-year pilot program designed to attract and retain skilled foreign nationals in the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The Atlantic provinces represent the least populous region of eastern Canada. While the traditional industry had been resource-based manufacturing, the region is undergoing a planned transition to a more knowledge-based economy. The new Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is a cooperative effort of IRCC and the four provincial governments of the region to support that transition by attracting talented foreign nationals to permanently settle in the region.

The pilot program will reportedly accept up to 2,000 applicants in its three streams in 2017 and will provide a new pathway for permanent residence for eligible (1) highly-skilled foreign workers, (2) intermediate-skilled foreign workers, and (3) graduating foreign students. Along with an expressed intent to permanently reside in one of the four Atlantic provinces, eligibility criteria include education, work experience, job offers, language proficiency, settlement funds (if not already living and working in Canada), and (for those in the foreign student stream) graduation from a publicly-funded university in one of the Atlantic provinces.